From My Carolina Home

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Frozen Waterfalls

The deep freeze across the east has lasted long enough for some of the local waterfalls and even parts of the French Broad River to freeze.   This doesn’t happen every year, we need sustained weeks of sub-freezing temperatures for the ice to form around running water.  It was 27 degrees F (-2C) last weekend when we decided to take a hike and see some of them.  Yes, we are a bit nuts to hike in this cold, but the skies were mainly clear, the wind was very light and the hikes were short.  Bundling up in coats, hats, scarves, gloves, jeans and our hiking boots, we drove out to DuPont State Forest to see the first two.  The parking lot was mainly empty, of course.  Only the truly crazy go hiking now.  But there were a few other intrepid souls who wanted to appreciate the beauty of the white ice sculptured by nature. We headed out on the bridge over a partially frozen stream.

Winter in State Forests of Western NC at From My Carolina Home

The half mile hike wasn’t too bad in the cold, only one really steep section.

Winter in State Forests of Western NC at From My Carolina Home

Coming up the hill, Triple Falls can be seen in the distance.

Triple Falls Winter 2018 Freeze at From My Carolina Home

Getting a bit closer, all of that white that looks like froth is actually solid ice.

Triple Falls Winter 2018 Freeze at From My Carolina Home

Look to the left of the upper falls, see the icicles?

Triple Falls Winter 2018 Freeze at From My Carolina Home

There is still some water flowing, but most of the falls is frozen in time.

Triple Falls Winter 2018 Freeze at From My Carolina Home

Back across the bridge and a short 1/4-mile hike later, we came to Hooker Falls.  This one is not tall but really wide.  The very middle is still flowing, but both sides are frozen solid.

Hooker Falls January 2018 Winter Freeze at From My Carolina Home

DH took this picture across the face of the falls, the ice is pretty thick!

Hooker Falls January 2018 Winter Freeze at From My Carolina Home

Gorgeous, isn’t it?  The entire left side still looks like flowing water even though it is frozen stillness.

Hooker Falls January 2018 Winter Freeze at From My Carolina Home

As usual for me, I notice the details like the crystals and air bubbles under the surface here at the water’s edge.

Hooker Falls January 2018 Winter Freeze at From My Carolina Home

The fractured pattern is interesting.  Along the right lower edge of the picture below is a gentle rippling over a rock, amazingly still moving ever so slightly.

Hooker Falls January 2018 Winter Freeze at From My Carolina Home

Downstream from Hooker Falls, lovely contrast between the dark rocks and the light ice.

Hooker Falls January 2018 Winter Freeze at From My Carolina Home

The next day, we drove out to Pisgah Forest and all along the road were scenes like this, icicles from the watershed forming on the rock faces.

Winter in State Forests of Western NC at From My Carolina Home

The prisms of light inside the icicles were really lovely, but the camera couldn’t see them.

DSC04491

In warmer weather, these sections have dripping water.

DSC04496

We drove to Looking Glass Falls, also a winter wonderland.  It looks like a frothy falls, but in actuality, is frozen ice.  I usually try to get pictures without people in them, but this one gives you a better idea of the majesty and height of this waterfall and the stone canyon.

Looking Glass Falls Winter 2018 Freeze at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

A little zoom in, look at the frost in the trees on the left, and over the rock face on the right, all formed from the spray from the falls.

Looking Glass Falls Winter 2018 Freeze at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Several minutes later to walk down the icy stairs, where the temperature dropped another 10 degrees, and the falls still look exactly the same.

Looking Glass Falls Winter 2018 Freeze at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Frost covered the lower rocks next to the solid ice lagoon, with icicles hanging from the ledges.

Looking Glass Falls Winter 2018 Freeze at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

The ice was inches thick, beautiful but dangerous.  The ice wouldn’t support the weight of a person.

Looking Glass Falls Winter 2018 Freeze at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Downstream from Looking Glass Falls, there is a trickle still moving in the very center.

Looking Glass Falls Winter 2018 Freeze at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

For my northern hemisphere readers, is it frozen where you are?  Southern hemisphere readers, do you have scenes like this near you in winter?

Looking Glass Falls Winter 2018 Freeze at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

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September Hike

Saturday was a gorgeous day here in the mountains, temperature in the low 70s and clear.  A nice change from the overcast days we have had lately with afternoon rain.  We decided it was a perfect day to hike to some of our local waterfalls.  We drove over to Dupont Forest, our favorite place to hike, and picked the Triple Falls  trail.  We haven’t been up there in a couple of years.

September 20 hike -1

It is an intermediate trail because it has plenty of elevation change.  Luckily it goes up to the falls, so the last part of the hike coming back to the car is downhill.

September 20 hike - trail 2

There were a fair number of people out, but many times the trail was all our own.

September 20 hike -4

We stopped along the stream a couple of times both going up and coming down.

September 20 hike -3

We hiked up to Triple Falls, which is named for the three distinct waterfalls all on the same mountainside.  You can see two here, the third is at the bottom flowing to the left behind the trees.  We were high on the next ridge looking to the falls, and the people below will give you an idea of the scale.  These falls are high and lovely.  The roar of the water can be heard from quite a distance.

September 20 hike - Triple Falls

DH walked down to the very bottom to get these photos.

September 20 hike -triple falls bottom

September 20 hike -lower triple falls

September 20 hike triple falls lookg up

We weren’t too tired when we got to Triple Falls, so we decided to keep hiking. Going up we could get one more view between the trees.

September 20 hike -triple falls 2

We made it up to High Falls.  We went there earlier this year from the other side where the covered bridge sits over the river.

September 20 hike -high falls 2

Even the rocks are pretty with a sunny day.

September 20 hike -5

September 20 hike -downstream

We have a couple of weeks to go before our color season begins, but I did see this little section of a tree  starting to show a bit of red.

September 20 hike - a bit of color

Everything is so lush and green, lots of rain this summer. The stream on the left is quiet at this spot.

September 20 hike -creek trail

Yes, the downhill is easier going back, LOL!

September 20 hike -6

I hope you enjoyed the views!